Pagan Festival Site Denied Renewal of Permit

December 10, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On December 10, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that the Gaea Retreat Center is a "170-acre private camp - which allows nudity in certain places and is host to an annual pagan festival - is the first Leavenworth County operation in recent memory that couldn't get its special-use permit renewed... The pagan festival attracts about 1,200 participants. The total number of visitors approaches 4,000 a year... 'I can't think of a time in the four years I've been here that we've denied a renewal,' said county Planning Director John Zoellner... Last month, the camp's operators filed suit in District Court seeking to reverse the decision." The author of the article concludes that "[he] suspects that it would take more than a brief seminar in paganism to convince the camp's opponents that Gaea is about as harmless as any other camp."